Friday, October 21, 2011


Kids aren't the only ones who learn things at school. Adults do too. This year we started out with a feature called MCAS MATH MONDAYS to help our students get ready for the statewide MCAS tests. But, there's another important reason...

Sometimes kids feel as if they learn math in school and then they will never use it again. That’s not true. People in all sorts of jobs use math. Workers across the street on the construction site in Old Colony, for example, need all their math skills. They use math all day, every day. So at the Perkins, each Monday, we were going to give the third, fourth, and fifth graders one math problem from a previous MCAS test AND another similar question using real data from the construction site.

It was a good idea but a bad schedule. Giving the kids the problems on Monday and showing the answers on Friday, didn't really fit well into the teachers' schedule. So now we will be giving our students the questions on Friday to take home as weekend homework. This has an added advantage--the kids and their parents will have more time to work on the problems together.

In fact, the only bad thing about this new arrangement is that we will have to give up the title, MCAS MATH MONDAY, which is a lovely alliteration (that means all three words in the title start with the same consonant sound of M). No problem, how about the three Ms we've come up with in the new title!

Here is our first set of MCAS MATH MARATHON questions to home over the weekend:

The third graders' actual MCAS problem:

And, their construction site problem:

The fourth graders' actual MCAS problem:

And, their construction site problem:

Now the fifth grade's actual MCAS problem:

And their construction site problem: